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Local governments are required to make numerous decisions every day in order to properly discharge their powers and responsibilities.

In practice, in order to enable local governments to focus on strategic issues, reduce the amount of meeting time required and address circumstances in which the majority of councillors must leave a council meeting as they have a material personal interest or conflict of interest in a certain matter, local governments are able to delegate many of those decisions to respond more effectively to the community and provide for timely, consistent decisions to be made.

The Local Government Act 2009 and the City of Brisbane Act 2010 allow local governments to delegate their powers by resolution to:

  • the mayor
  • the chief executive officer
  • a standing committee or joint standing committee
  • the chairperson of a standing committee or joint standing committee
  • another local government for the purposes of a joint local government activity.

Brisbane City Council is also permitted to delegate its powers to the Establishment and Coordination Committee.

Local governments are not permitted to delegate a power which is required to be exercised by resolution under an Act.

Local governments are still able to exercise a power themselves even after they have delegated the power.

Those local governments that support the use of delegations find that they are able to respond more effectively to the community.

Ultimately, a local government decides which powers are appropriate to delegate. However, once a power is delegated, the delegate has the authority to use the power and does not need to seek further approval or endorsement before exercising the power.

When a local government (except Brisbane City Council) delegates its powers to the chief executive officer, the local government must review the delegations annually.

Delegations by mayors

Delegations by chief executive officers

Delegations register